Regional line Emmen – Meppen

This new regional rail line would connect Emmen with Meppen, on the Ems valley line (Dortmund – Münster – Emden). It can be seen as an extension of the proposed Groningen – Emmen regional line along the Hondsrug ridge. It might be operated as part of that line, but perhaps as an isolated service.

Click to enlarge: Hondsrug line in orange, line to Meppen in red…

Hondsrug rail line with extension Emmen - Meppen

Emmen (population 57 000) is the only urban centre in the south of Drenthe province. At present, it is served by a 75-km regional line from Zwolle – electrified, but mainly single-track. The proposed Hondsrug line would connect it to Groningen (the largest city between Amsterdam and Bremen).

At present, there are east-west passenger rail lines, from Groningen to Leer, and from Hengelo to Rheine. The Emmen – Meppen line would create a new link, about halfway between those two. The line would be about 35 km long, with only 3 intermediate stations. The area is thinly populated, with large tracts of moor (peat bog). Some land is still excavated for turf.

Click to enlarge…

New rail line Emmen - Meppen

The line would diverge from the existing line to Zwolle, at about 2 km south of Emmen station: the existing single-track line would be doubled here. A second station in central Emmen, at the Dordsestraat, would be on the shared section. The new alignment would pass the industrial zone Bargermeer, following an existing rail track, and then the Tasmanstraat. There would be a new station, where the line crosses the ring road N391 (Rondweg, at the retail cluster, the meubelboulevard).

After crossing the Oranje Kanaal, the new line would turn south-east across open farmland, to join the alignment of the A37 motorway (E233). The line would cut through the A37 Business Park, but that is not a problem, since most of it is empty anyway. The A37 motorway runs east from Hoogeveen to the border, and continues in Germany as the B402: the new line would now follow this road, to the outskirts of Meppen.

Click to enlarge…

New rail line Emmen - Meppen

Klazienaveen (population 12 000) would have a station at the northern edge of the built-up area, on the road to Nieuw-Dordrecht. This is at the north end of the Brugstraat, the old main road from Emmen: the station would be about 1110 m from the centre.

There would be no further stations on the line: it would pass north of Zwartemeer, and the landscape is flat and empty. The line would cross the Autobahn A31, still following the road, probably on the north side. It would cross the Ems River, and then turn due south, to a junction with the rail line from Emden. Meppen station is 1600 m further south.

Click to enlarge…

New rail line Emmen - Meppen

Meppen has a municipal population of 35 000, and is the capital of Landkreis Emsland (population 314 000). Most passengers would travel further: in the region, and especially south toward Münster.

There was a local rail line eastwards, the 51-km Meppen-Haselünner Eisenbahn: it connected to Quakenbrück on the Oldenburg – Osnabrück line. The alignment is intact, and the new line from Emmen would make re-opening more logical.

Trains from Emmen (or Groningen) would terminate at Meppen. There are extra tracks south of the station, which can be used to reverse trains. The line is not intended as a fast line, but there are few restraints on the alignment, so it could easily be built for 150 km/h. An Emmen – Meppen journey time of 22 minutes would be reasonable.

Regional line Emmen – Meppen

One thought on “Regional line Emmen – Meppen

  1. Wolfgang Löning says:

    Es heißt, dass dieser Plan von niederländischer Seite fallengelassen wurde, weil ihm die Rentabilität fehle.
    Leider wurde das dazu gehörige Gutachten nicht veröffentlicht, zu mindestens nicht im Emsland.

    Gleichzeitig betreibt der Kreis Emsland den Ausbau der E233 von der Autobahn A31 zur Autobahn A1: Vierspurig wie eine Autobahn, weil die E233 mit LKWs überlastet sei.

    Ob die Rentabilität der angedachten Bahn rentabel würde, wenn sie in großem Stil Güter, LKWs und Container, transportiert, wird m.E. nicht erörtert. Höchstens für die Kurzstrecke Meppen-Essen/O, nicht aber für die Gesamtverbindung zwischen den Häfen Rotterdam einerseits und Wilhelmshaven, Bremen, Hamburg, Skandinavien andererseits.

    Sollten die Staatsbahnen (Hier DB) nicht interessiert sein, könnte ich mir als Betreiber eine Arbeitsgemeinschaft aller Transportunternehmen Drente/Emsland/Cloppenburg vorstellen

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